Pregnancy does some wild things to a woman. For starters, hormones are raging through her bloodstream at breakneck speed, causing a plethora of bizarre and sometimes hilarious pregnancy symptoms that can leave even the most poised lady seeming like the world’s hottest mess.
Case in point: The other day, my husband surprised me by mopping the floors and doing the laundry. In response to the casual mentioning of this, I literally sat down and cried like a toddler. Why? Because in my pregnancy hormone-fueled brain, the feeling of delight about clean floors and fresh towels is on the same level as winning the Powerball.
So this got me wondering about the other weird things I experience while expecting. I want to know, are these pregnancy symptoms weird?
1. Dirty Dreams
I mean straight up Boogie Nights, 50 Shades, Pirates of Poonanie dirty. I’ve had dreams so wildly erotic that I woke up blushing — but also like I was in heat and really wanted to bang my husband even though the sun was barely up.
2. My Feet Growing Bigger
Here is an embarrassing confession: Before my first child was born, I was a size 9 1/2 narrow. Now, I’m on baby No. 3 and my feet are a size 11. Do you have any idea how hard is to find women’s shoes that are size 11?! If my shuffleboards grow any longer, I will have to make my own damn shoes.
3. My Nose Won’t Stop Running
I thought I had a cold. Then I thought I had crazy allergies. It turns out that my body is just really good a producing mucus. And why is that, you ask? Because it turns out that a woman’s brain cannot ask a uterus and a cervix to be the only places in the body that get super lubed up in preparation of growing a baby and pushing it out. The whole body gets to experience it, which means my nose will run for months.
4. Eating as if My Life Literally Depends on It
I’ve read over and over again that I am not really eating for two and that it isn’t until the second trimester that a mother needs to bump up her calories to 200 or 300 more than usual to accommodate a growing baby. But have you ever been pregnant and suddenly hungry? I swear to God, it is like turning into a teenage boy. I could eat everything in my fridge in under five minutes like a ravenous she-wolf. I know this from experience, unfortunately.
5. Wanting to Puke at the Mere Mention of Certain Things
Morning sickness is really all day and all night sickness, we all know that one. But the things that trigger it are truly bizarre. I was in line at the grocery store the other day and overheard a lady behind me talking about meatloaf, and I wanted to die. It was all I could do get out of there without barfing in my purse.
6. Pangs of Wanting to Clean Everything Even Though I’m Not “Nesting” Yet
There is a phase in the third trimester called “nesting” when a mother “irrationally” wants to clean the ever-loving hell out of every single surface in her domain. But I contend that this actually happens in waves throughout the pregnancy. My bathroom has never been cleaner than when I am expecting. I need it to look and smell fresh at all times. And I live with all boys!
7. Wanting to Cry When Girlfriends Talk About Periods Because Those Are SO MUCH EASIER THAN THIS SHITSHOW
I love my besties. I really and truly do. But when they start bitching about their periods, it makes me want to cry. Periods — honest to Saint Freakin’ Pete — are so much easier than this crazy bullshit called pregnancy. And also? I still have to push this child out of my vagina.
8. Linea Nigra and Dark Nipples
More than three-quarters of all pregnant bellies will have a dark line from the navel down to the pubic bone. This darkened line is caused by a hard-to-pronounce hormone, melanocyte-stimulating, that is produced in the placenta. This phenomenon is nothing more than a consequence of the alchemy that is the hormonal shitstorm of pregnancy, but it’s still weird nonetheless.
9. Varicose Veins
This is a form of hell that I do not wish on any woman, especially pregnant women. Varicose veins are “gnarled, enlarged veins” in the body. They can happen anywhere, like on your legs, in your rear, in your lady bits — you name it. It is hell. Not only can they be painful, but they look like a road map across your skin. They’re sometimes even raised enough to create bumps on your skin.
10. Skin Tags
Also known as WTF Pregnancy!? Skin tags are the bizarro side effect of the cascade of hormones surging through an expectant mother’s body. Little soft lumps that look similar to moles but lacking color may appear on your face, neck, underarms, or groin. (Sounds like fun, huh?) They are totally harmless and can be removed easily, but they are annoying as hell and not what I would categorize as attractive. Sprouting random skin growths has to be filed under “weird,” right?
11. A Square Baby Bump
You know how pregnant ladies in magazines and on TV all have that perfectly shaped basketball-esque belly? I didn’t. I had what could only be described as a square shelf because, well, that is just what happened when my belly swelled. Some ladies carry high, others carry low, some don’t “pop” out as much as others, and I apparently turn into Spongebob.
12. Loosening Joints
The aptly named hormone relaxin, along with its sidekick oxytocin, creates a loosening of the mucus membranes and joints in the human body. This is mostly due to the fact that a mom’s cervix must be pliable. And since the hormonal system cannot cherry-pick where to target most of the work of relaxin and other fun hormones, the whole body gets to feel the effects.
Relaxed joints are a common reason why most pregnant women are limited in some physical tasks such as heavy lifting or robust workouts. I have one friend who had so much relaxin flooding her system that her thigh bones literally slid out of their sockets. Talk about weird. (Also, talk about painful and unpleasant.)
Even with all the weirdness, I mostly love being pregnant. The most interesting part, though, has been the bizarre symptoms I experience each time.
Now, excuse me. I need to go eat an entire pizza before I wax my floors for the second time this morning.